Recognized as one of the most innovative companies in the world by Fortune and Fast Company, Herman Miller’s design heritage is responsible for iconic pieces like the Eames Molded Plywood Chair and the Aeron Chair. Architects and designers worldwide value and choose Herman Miller for their design influence, research-driven insights, and quality products.
As Herman Miller’s digital agency, we created a new digital platform that included a strategy, website, and social media to build relationships with the design community and provide tools for professionals, shifting the brand's print-centric model to a digital-first approach.
A templated system often results in a design that is forced into constraints. We designed the website to use a grid structure, providing an interface similar to a furniture system for creating unique but unified pages for each product. By creating many different modules, we could define a page by selecting the modules that were the most appropriate for a product. At the same time, the grid system allowed for products to be presented in flexible layouts: vertical, horizontal, or a combination.
We designed the website with people at the center, a design principle that’s core to Herman Miller. This meant shifting to become lifestyle-focused through telling authentic stories and becoming a source of inspiration. We developed a digital strategy and content plan for the website to become a daily destination by infusing visual storytelling everywhere—from the homepage to the editorial space WHY Magazine to product detail pages—through videos, editorials, research solutions, and design stories. We also established Herman Miller’s social media strategy to curate conversations with people everywhere who appreciate design.
An Aeron chair is built in 17 seconds. We went onto the factory floor in Michigan and directed a film that showed their manufacturing efficiency, which is also better for the environment.
Our research revealed that architects and designers wanted “images, images, images” for concepting and design presentations, and they needed them at all hours of the day, quickly. So we created an image library for users to find and download photos and renders of Herman Miller products. Users could choose the image resolution to suit their usage needs and batch download for quick access. We also created Herman Miller’s online materials library and made 3D files and models available so designers could have all the tools they need to plan and spec their projects.
Partnering closely with Herman Miller’s marketing and IT teams, we developed their global strategy and launched 16 additional region sites including Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, and Africa. The website infrastructure allowed Herman Miller’s global team and their regional partners to manage the sites collaboratively to retain branding consistency while being locally relevant.
With a new scalable digital platform, Herman Miller’s website traffic tripled in less than two years, eclipsing competitor sites. Improved SEO has increased organic traffic, drawing visitors through non-branded terms such as “Eames furniture” and “office chair.”
— Charles Eames